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Puerto Rico’s manufacturing sector shows growth in December ’20

The Puerto Rico Manufacturing-Purchasing Managers Index showed an increase to 51.8 in December, surpassing the threshold level of 50 and suggesting an expansion in the manufacturing sector with respect to the previous month.

The manufacturing sector has shown sustained improvement for the past few months, after experiencing one of the most significant drops due to the lockdown measures the government mandated to contain the spread of COVID-19.

According to the PMI, all of the sub-indexes that it measures — new orders, production, employment, own inventories, and supplier deliveries — were at or above the threshold level of 50. The sub-indexes increased with respect to the previous month except for employment and supplier deliveries sub-indexes.

In a separate survey of manufacturing establishments, none of the respondents said their operations ceased following the health measurements taken by the government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Factors affected by the pandemic in the manufacturing sector were: a reduction in suppliers’ deliveries (47%), a reduction in demand (53%), a reduction in staff (29%), a reduction in inventory (35%), and others (24%), according to the PMI.

The manufacturing sector is one of the most watched by private and public authorities, given its contribution to the island’s economy.

In December, the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC) unveiled a new Manufacturing Coincident Indicators Index, a metrics and analysis tool to illustrate the sector’s economic activity, which the agency said reflects that the industry is maintaining a recovery rate.

“The November 2020 report showed an increase for the fourth consecutive month, in addition to being the sixth increase in the last seven months,” said Department of Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel Cidre. “When compared to the previous month, industrial activity increased 0.4%.”

“We’re confident that as the pandemic stabilizes and the number of people vaccinated increases, manufacturing will take off,” Cidre said. “At the DDEC we’re working to continue attracting investment to Puerto Rico and position ourselves as the best manufacturing and service destination in the hemisphere.”

“We have a committed and prepared workforce, the infrastructure ready and an unparalleled availability to do business,” Cidre added.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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